© 2020 State Bicycle Co..
Images, words and good vibes by Eric Friedensohn (@efdot)
Hello readers and riders! I'm Eric Friedensohn, a lettering artist and designer based in NYC. You may have seen my artwork on the State Bicycle Co. Instagram over the past 8 weeks. If not, go check it out for some always helpful Monday Motivation.
When Mehdi from State Bicycle Co. approached me to work on this series, I was beyond excited. I create weekly lettering pieces for fun anyway, so this was a chance to share my designs with a new audience and combine them with some stunning photos of State bikes. How could I refuse an opportunity like that?
How I got here
I’ve been drawing letters and logos since I was a little kid. In 2011 I took a course in advanced typography and became totally addicted. In the past couple years, I decided to pursue lettering as a profession, and now I run my lettering practice under the name Efdot Studio.
Much like cycling, there are endless possibilities with letterforms. You get to express yourself freely and make (or break) your own rules.
With a little elbow grease and patience, a simple phrase can transform into an eye-catching image. It’s incredibly satisfying!
Though the end result might look nice and clean, my process to get there is pretty messy. All of my projects always start out with pencil and paper. I work very quickly in the early stages to sketch out a composition and determine what kind of style the letters will be in. Then it’s just tracing and retracing with different tools to finesse the details. If necessary, I scan my designs on to the computer for refinement, manipulation, adding colors, etc.
For a few of these, I wanted to make it look like the word was actually painted on to the wall. Were you fooled? It was just a photoshop trick. However, I do love painting murals when I have the chance.
In addition to the design, I also wrote all the words myself. They are all phrase that get me stoked to ride, so they came pretty naturally. The hard part was pairing them with the right photo.
I kept the phrases pretty short and sweet with 3 words or less. This allows me more freedom to play with the letters, but still keep it legible.
Riding around NYC can sometimes feel like a game of Frogger, constantly steering clear of reckless drivers. I usually stick to my routes. Since I got my new State, I’ve been riding more than ever though, exploring parts of the city that I have never seen before. Seriously, it’s such a sweet ride!
Up until now, my main transportation has been my skateboard. So naturally, I have been using the bike to get to and from the skatepark. It has made a huge difference compared to skating all the way there or riding the subway. I’m able to get there so much faster on my State, and arrive totally energized.
Thanks for reading! I hope this encourages you to get out there and ride.
Also, thanks so much to Mehdi, Jeffery Olsen and the rest of the guys at State for working with me. It has been a huge pleasure making these images and seeing the project come to life over the last 8 weeks.